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FDA Will Now Tell You Where Contaminated Food Was Actually Sold
By Dan Nosowitz
A report from the Office of the Inspector General found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was not only slow to find problems in food production but that it often didn't take the right steps to correct violations and ensure that proper procedures were followed after violations were found. Foodborne illnesses, in some ways, are on the rise, and certainly, reporting of those violations are more visible than ever before. But there are still issues to correct.
Last week, the FDA released an announcement that there would be a significant change in the reporting of food recalls: there is now guidance that encourages reporting of exactly where tainted food is sold. In the past, the FDA would single out the supplier, but not necessarily the specific retail locations where products were sold. This isn't always a problem; the FDA does give out product batch numbers, which can be checked against the product itself, or will list the specific brand name of a product.
But there are also products where this is a significant issue. Some products don't come with batch numbers at all, like produce, deli meats or nuts. In that case, it can be difficult to figure out, as a consumer, whether you've actually purchased one of the affected products. So the FDA's new guidelines provide a bit more power: they will, in cases like those un-numbered products, list the exact retail locations where affected food was sold.
Though probably inadvertent, this change is well-timed, as a significant recall of ground beef from Cargill was announced last week. More than 130,000 pounds of the ground beef, sold in nationwide retailers including Target, Sam's Club and Albertson's, has been recalled due to fears of E. coli contamination. The USDA, which regulates meat recalls—the FDA handles everything else, which, yes, is confusing—attributed 17 illnesses and one death to the tainted meat. The USDA, for its part, already lists the specific retail locations that sold affected products.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?
By Carey Gillam
Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.
With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.
Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.